Meet Karen: A Gardener and Helper From the Start!

by Karen on May 16, 2016

Karen’s passion for gardening stems from a childhood surrounded by nature. She grew up playing in the woods of the West Virginia Mountains and helping in her father’s vegetable garden.

Karen as a young girl.

Throughout the years she continued to grow vegetables and just after meeting her husband, Karen started learning about perennial flowers. Karen’s husband of 15 years also grew up surrounded by nature. He too helped tend to his mother’s English garden and spent his leisure time hiking, camping and kayaking in the Shenandoah Mountains.


Three years ago, while helping start monarch way station pollinator gardens at two local schools, Karen had a ‘light bulb’ moment. The goal of building the way station was to help the monarch butterfly, which has seen a drastic decline in population. After the first year planting the milkweed, the host plant for the monarch caterpillar, they had Monarchs at the garden!

It is such a simple concept, but each plant has its own unique purpose. In some cases, like the monarch’s, only one species may use one plant as its host. Milkweed is the only plant where they can lay their eggs and we planted over 70 milkweed plants in the new way station that first year. Not all of the plants survived, but enough did that the monarch butterflies found the garden, laid their eggs and in the fall, and when the kids came back to school there were several chrysalis’s which became beautiful monarch butterflies.

We can now see them every year and it was such a rewarding experience. The way station also attracts many types of bees and butterflies, moths, dragonflies, birds, and countless other critters. In fact, last summer, Karen saw her first Indigo Bunting in the garden!

Karen volunteers frequently in the garden community and this month she is excited to share many of the resources that helped her learn!

If you love gardening but don’t have the time, or think you would love gardening but don’t know where to start, call Karen! Her business A Second Me can help you get supplies or even draft up a plan for you to build your own garden! Visit Karen’s website for more information. A Second Me


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